Mataara emergency contact tool

Mataara is a tool that allows us to contact you when there is an emergency in your area. It helps us establish whether you need our help.

Why we want to contact you

In an emergency, we want to connect with you as quickly and simply as possible – and we especially want to know if you need our help.

We have developed Mataara, a mass-contact tool that allows us to quickly text message and email you in the event of an emergency in your area (such as a fire, flood or earthquake).

You can then reply letting us know the status of your school or early learning service.

What we do with the information

  • We collate the information and use it to plan and prioritise our response.
  • We can also provide the collated information to other agencies such as NZ Police and Civil Defence.
  • If we don’t hear back from a school or early learning service, we will quickly follow up to see if everything is ok.

Your response to the emergency text

Mataara is free for you to use.

After we send you a text regarding an emergency, you simply reply by text with a number (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5). What each number means will be explained in the text we send you.

An example of a message you might receive is:

You can also add additional wording to your reply. For example "4 – Classrooms flooded" or "3 – We have asked parents to pick their children up now as roads may not stay open".

Areas without mobile phone coverage

If you are in an area without mobile phone coverage and cannot reply to the text, in most emergencies you will also receive an email.

It will have a link for you to follow and a form on which you can select the same options as above and have the opportunity to comment on additional property damage information (if relevant).

Ministry text number 8707

The text comes from 8707 – this number will only be used by the Ministry.

You may like to save this number to your phone as assurance that an emergency text has come from us.

Your contact details

Mataara uses your emergency contact mobile phone and email address (one of each).

If your information needs updating please contact your local office to let them know.

Local Ministry offices

If you have an emergency

It's important to note that you cannot initiate the emergency message process, you can only respond when we send you a text or email.

If you would like to notify us of an emergency, you should do so in the normal way – contact emergency services if necessary and your local Ministry of Education office.

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